Quantum Computation at Room-Temperature for a Reasonable Time
Scientists have successfully overcome one of the obstacles in quantum computation by storing data on quantum bits (qubits) for about two seconds at room temperature.
Many of the current systems utilize extremely complex and costly equipments to trap an individual electron or atom in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature. However, a team of researchers from Harvard University have solved the problem of working at normal temperature by using diamonds, which are atomically pure materials on Earth.
“This research is an important step forward in research toward one day building a practical quantum computer,” said Kucsko, who works in Lukin’s lab and is one of two first authors of the paper. “For the first time, we have a system that has a reasonable timescale for memory and simplicity, so this is now something we can pursue.”
Scientists have used the impurities in ultra-pure, laboratory-grown diamonds, to store quantum bits of information for about two seconds i.e. an increase of six orders of magnitude over the earlier systems. They are hopeful that in the near future the technical issues will be resolved to increase the life span of storage up to hours.
Advances in such systems could also be utilized in “‘quantum cash’ (a payment system for bank transactions and credit cards that relies on the coding of quantum bits to thwart counterfeiters) and quantum networks (a highly secure communications method that uses quantum bits to transmit data).”
You can read the abstract of the paper below;
Stable quantum bits, capable both of storing quantum information for macroscopic time scales and of integration inside small portable devices, are an essential building block for an array of potential applications. We demonstrate high-fidelity control of a solid-state qubit, which preserves its polarization for several minutes and features coherence lifetimes exceeding 1 second at room temperature. The qubit consists of a single 13C nuclear spin in the vicinity of a nitrogen-vacancy color center within an isotopically purified diamond crystal. The long qubit memory time was achieved via a technique involving dissipative decoupling of the single nuclear spin from its local environment. The versatility, robustness, and potential scalability of this system may allow for new applications in quantum information science.The research appeared in the June 8 issue of the journal Science.
(Credit: Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard Staff Photographer)